From Middle English quaschen, quasshen, cwessen, quassen, from Old French quasser, from Latin quassāre, present active infinitive of quassō, under the influence of cassō (I annul), from Latin quatiō (I shake), from Proto-Indo-European *kʷeh₁t- (to shake) (same root for the English words: pasta, paste, pastiche, pastry). Cognate with Spanish quejar (to complain).



quash (third-person singular simple present quashes, present participle quashing, simple past and past participle quashed)

  1. To defeat decisively.
    The army quashed the rebellion.
    • a. 1677, Isaac Barrow, Of Contentment (sermon)
      Contrition is apt to quash or allay all worldly grief.
    • 2014 November 17, Roger Cohen, “The horror! The horror! The trauma of ISIS [print version: International New York Times, 18 November 2014, p. 9]”, in The New York Times[1]:
      the quashing of a jihadi enclave here only spurs the sprouting of another there
  2. (obsolete) To crush or dash to pieces.
    • 1645, Edmund Waller, The Battle Of The Summer Islands
      The whales / Against sharp rocks, like reeling vessels, quashed, / Though huge as mountains, are in pieces dashed.
  3. (law) To void or suppress (a subpoena, decision, etc.).

Related termsEdit


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